A scandalous twist in the ongoing phone-hacking trial of two former editors at News of the World in the U.K.
“A letter read to the court this afternoon says Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson had an affair that lasted at least six years.” (Via BBC)
There had been some speculation the two were in a romantic relationship for years, but nothing was confirmed until Tuesday.
The prosecutor told jurors he was announcing the affair because it shows they trusted each other — and shared at least one big secret. (Via The Guardian)
Brooks, Coulson, and several other former News of the World employees have been accused of taking part in a conspiracy to hack into the private phone messages of politicians, royal family members, and even movie stars.
Three senior editors have already pleaded guilty earlier this year, but their admissions weren’t made public until Wednesday because the trials of Brooks, Coulson, and six others hadn’t started yet.
Brooks edited the Rupert Murdoch tabloid between 2000 and 2003, and Coulson was her deputy during that time. He stepped into her position when she left the paper.
The prosecution says Brooks, a close friend of both British prime minister David Cameron and Rupert Murdoch, was the mastermind behind the conspiracy and that Coulson took over once she left. (Via The Daily Beast)
Their affair, which allegedly began around 1998, was reportedly uncovered by police after they discovered a letter from Brooks to Coulson dated February 2004. (Via Daily Mail)
The note was apparently Brooks’ reaction to Coulson trying to break off their romance.
She wrote, “The fact is you are my very best friend, I tell you everything, I confide in you, I seek your advice, I love you, care about you, worry about you, we laugh and cry together. In fact, without our relationship in my life, I am not sure I will cope.” (Via The Telegraph)
Both Brooks and Coulson were married to other people at the time of their alleged affair.